Tuesday February 19, 2019
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China mulls allowing second child for all couples

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Beijing: China, the world’s most populous country which once strictly followed the one-child norm, is now considering allowing a second child for all couples. People_in_Chinese_park_1

China could further relax its one-child policy to allow all couples across the country to have a second child, reported Global Times.

China currently has a population of 1.3 billion. India is close behind with a population of 1.2 billion.

In China, 29 provinces and municipalities have relaxed the one-child policy to allow couples to have a second baby if either parent is from a single-child family.

Online polls show that a majority of Chinese support the second-child policy, but analysts say they are concerned that young couples are showing less interest in having more children.

An anonymous researcher, who reportedly participated in a National Health and Family Planning Commission (NHFPC) survey, told China Business News that the second-child policy can be applied “as early as the end of 2015 if everything goes well”.

Lu Jiehua, a professor at Peking University, told the Global Times that the NHFPC is likely to implement the revised policy in the near future but said “it’s unlikely that the policy could be fully implemented in 2015 … probably next year, or at the beginning of China’s 13th Five-Year Plan”.

“It’s not simply about implementing a second-child policy,” Lu was quoted as saying. “All relevant policies, regulations, formalities and facilities need to be in place to support (the second-child policy), and it takes time.”

Mu Guangzong, a professor at Peking University’s Institute of Population Research, told the Global Times that “relaxing the current policy meets public expectations”.

“The country needs to maintain a moderate fertility rate for a healthy and sustainable development, as the present fertility rate is low.”

China suffered a third consecutive annual drop in its workforce in 2014, 3.7 million less than the previous year, according to data released by the National Bureau of Statistics in January.

(IANS)

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Chinese Police Catches Hold of $1.5 Billion Money in Online Lending Scandal

The internet has helped financial platforms attract money from financial novices with little knowledge of the risks involved.

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Chinese policemen watch as depositors from Ezubao gather outside the State Bureau for Letters and Calls Reception Division office in Beijing, Jan. 1, 2016. China's policy ministry says it investigated 380 online lenders following an avalanche of scandals. VOA

Chinese police have investigated 380 online lenders and frozen $1.5 billion in assets following an avalanche of scandals in the huge but lightly regulated industry, the government announced Monday.

Beijing allowed a private finance industry to flourish in order to supply credit to entrepreneurs and households that aren’t served by the state-run banking system. But that threatens to become a liability for the ruling Communist Party after bankruptcies and fraud cases prompted protests and complaints of official indifference to small investors.

The police ministry said it launched the investigation because person-to-person, or P2P, lending was increasingly risky and rife with complaints about fraud, mismanagement and waste.

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The police ministry said it launched the investigation because person-to-person, or P2P, lending was increasingly risky and rife with complaints about fraud, mismanagement and waste. Pixabay

The ministry gave no details of arrests but said more than 100 executives were being sought by investigators and some had fled abroad. It said authorities seized or froze 10 billion yuan ($1.5 billion) but gave no indication how much might be returned to depositors.

Police say some lenders and investment vehicles were brazenly fraudulent, while others collapsed after inexperienced founders failed to manage risk.

Monday’s statement said P2P lenders were investigated for complaints including wasting money, reporting phony investment plans and using illegal tactics to raise money.

Lending through online platforms grew by triple digits annually until 2017 when regulators tightened controls.

Depositors lent 1.9 trillion yuan ($280 billion) last year, but that was down by 50 percent from 2017, according to the Shenzhen Qiancheng Internet Finance Research Institute.

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The internet has helped financial platforms attract money from financial novices with little knowledge of the risks involved. Pixabay

The outstanding loan balance stood at 1.2 trillion yuan ($177 billion) at the end of 2018, down 25 percent from a year earlier, according to Diyi Wangdai, a web site that reports on the industry.

P2P lenders are part of a privately run Chinese finance industry the national bank regulator estimated in 2015 had grown to $1.5 trillion.

The internet has helped financial platforms attract money from financial novices with little knowledge of the risks involved.

Many lend to factories and retailers or invest in restaurants, car washes and other businesses. But inexperience and poor risk control means a downturn in business conditions can bankrupt them.

Also Read: Sales of Smart Feature Phones Expected To Be About $28 Billion Over Next Three Years

Finance as a whole has come under tougher scrutiny after a 2015 plunge in stock prices led to accusations of insider trading and other offenses.

In one of China’s biggest financial scams, authorities say depositors lost 50 billion yuan ($7.7 billion) in online lender Ezubo before it was seized by regulators in 2015.

The founder and his brother were sentenced to life in prison in 2017. (VOA)